When we look at something with our human eyes, our brain processes a material image of a material object reflected on the back of the retina. Our consciousness of the thing we are looking at is, of course mental, or composed of thought. Without thought or consciousness, the material image on the retina would do nothing. If the brain received the image, but had no consciousness to report the image to, there would be no seeing going on.
In Christian Science we learn to make practical the fact that our experience or consciousness is completely mental, totally comprised of thought. Again, we must admit that unless we were mentally conscious, there would be no experiencing going on. So mental is our experience, that the presentation of matter itself is actually preconditioned by human thought. Mrs. Eddy tells us that mortal mind believes what it sees as certainly as it sees it believes. The human mind believes itself to be seeing objectively, in other words, it believes itself to be witnessing objects which have an existence and entity independent of the observing human. Christian Science disagrees . In truth, experience is subjective. Spiritual logic reveals that everything which we experience is really the product of our own thought and comes from within us, though appearing to be external to us and appearing to be independent of our selves, appearing to be able to influence us from the outside. Mortal mind forms an idea of what it believes it is seeing and then proceeds to see what it expects. The material image on the back of the retina processed by the brain presents an image of that which the mind expects to see. Thus, matter is not an independent external influence on man as is commonly believed, but is a substance whose quality of presentation depends upon the mental preconceptions of the observer. The image on the retina presents only a material image of a material thought conceived of by mortal mind and mortal belief. The human mind then re-merges the material image on the retina, whose origin is itself mortally mental, with its own thought of itself and creates human material experience. Thus, one human’s experience of an event will be different from another human’s experience of it, because each human mind hold its own mental preconceptions and opinions.
Mortal mind, though, is not divine Mind, but is its invalid opposite. And divine Mind, infinite and eternal self contained Truth can have no opposite, for it can have no residing place outside of the infinite realm of that single infinite divine Mind. The mortal mind image presented by the retina to the brain presents only mortal minds own conceptions and expectations of itself. It can only present the cold and inanimate material image, absent of the infinite and perfect idea behind the representation beheld by the eye. As human consciousness elevates itself above the mortal to the immortal by replacing the finite and discontinuous conceptions of matter with the infinite and perfect conceptions of the divine Mind, the human mind begins to see and comprehend the depth of the spiritual idea being observed. The expected presentation which comes to experience improves in proportion as mortal concepts are replaced by immortal and more perfect perceptions. In the same proportion does the materiality and finiteness of the observed object diminish as the divine idea is mentally recognized more deeply in the object under consideration.
I Corinthians 12:13 tells us “Now I know in part”. While mortal mind seems to dominate our thinking, we will seem to see only mortal mind’s crude perception of its own erroneous self, namely matter. The material eye can see only the surface presentation of this cold and inanimate mortal thought.
Mrs. Eddy says 262:9 “We cannot fathom the nature and quality of God’s creation by diving into the shallows of mortal belief” We must look deep into the spiritual idea behind all which we observe, be it an object, a person, an occurrence, or an event. On 129:12 (ibid) “We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things”.
This is exactly the method by which Christ Jesus healed. On 313:23 (ibid) we are told “He (Jesus) plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause”.